Clare Richards Named as Grierson Hero of the Year in the 2022 British Documentary Awards

Clare Richards Named as Grierson Hero of the Year in the 2022 British Documentary Awards
Clare Richards, director and founder of We Are Doc Women named as Grierson Hero of the Year for 2022

Documentary filmmaker and founder of We Are Doc Women, Clare Richards, has been named as the Grierson Hero of the Year in the 2022 British Documentary Awards, in association with All3Media.

Introduced last year in the wake of lockdown, The Grierson Hero of the Year Award (sponsored by The Talent Manager) celebrates those working tirelessly behind the scenes in documentary or factual TV who often don’t get the recognition they deserve. The award is presented to an individual who has been nominated by their industry peers and judged by the Trustees to have a made a positive impact within the industry over the last 12 months.

Nominated for this award by multiple colleagues, Clare Richards was praised for campaigning for much needed change and holding the documentary industry to account in pushing for female representation behind the camera, particularly as this work is done voluntarily and in addition to her role as a director.

Clare founded support group We Are Doc Women in 2017 to provide peer support for women directors working in factual television in the UK. Now a collective of directors, producers, assistant producers and executive producers, it advocates for equal opportunities, greater support and fair recognition within the industry.

In October 2021, We Are Doc Women released a TV Gender Gap Report and encouraged organisations to sign up to the 50/50 pledge – a commitment to having 50% of their factual programmes directed by women. One year later it has 67 signatories, including independent production companies, major broadcasters and streamers including Amazon Prime Studios, BBC Studios Factual and Channel 4 Documentaries.

Her nominators said...

“People in TV, particularly in the freelance world, often have to think about and prioritise themselves, largely due to the insecure nature of the job. But Clare is really someone who believes in the power of community and the possibility it holds for change – and that is incredibly inspiring.” Laura Martin Robinson, self-shooting producer/director

“Clare has worked tirelessly, unpaid, and dealt with bumps in the road – inspiring many to help her with grace, humour and honesty. It is now turning into a campaign force working with broadcasters and indies for real change.” Marina Parker, award-winning producer/director 

Announcing The Grierson Hero of the Year Award, Chairman of The Grierson Trust, Lorraine Heggessey said: “In a very short space of time Clare’s work with We Are Doc Women has started to effect real and substantial change within the documentary industry. Clare is a prime example of someone who is prepared to put her head above the parapet and name uncomfortable truths, going the extra mile and having a real impact on the sector.”

Accepting the award, Clare Richards said: It’s a huge honour to receive this award. Thank you to The Grierson Trust for the recognition, to my nominators for their kind words and to every person who has supported We Are Doc Women over the last few years. Our network has created an energy that’s propelled us to make impact way beyond my expectations. I hope we continue to harness this momentum together as an industry.”

About the Grierson Awards

Now in their 50th year, the Griersons celebrate the best in documentary filmmaking, carrying prestige and allure for factual filmmakers from across the globe. The Grierson Hero of the Year Award will be presented at the 2022 British Documentary Awards in association with All3Media on 10 November at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, and will be hosted by comedian Rosie Jones and presenter AJ Odudu.

Buy tickets to the ceremony

Published: 26 October 2022

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